Virtual fish give kids taste of outdoors

Kids catch lunkers in their living rooms

CorrespondentDecember 19, 2012 

When going to a pond or river isn’t an option, parents can give their children a virtual fishing outing.

That’s what Lynn Garten does for her three children. The siblings play a game called “Flick Fishing” on Garten’s iPod, flicking a wrist in a casting motion to send out the virtual line.

“Then they reel it in and hear all the clicking sounds, and they don’t know what they’re going to get until they reel it in,” Garten said of Jessica, 11, Amanda, 9, and Barry, 5. “They enjoy it.”

The application also shows an image of the fish and identifies the species.

“It’s one of the kids’ favorite games,” said Garten, an Eastern Wake County resident who said she grew up fishing and loves it, but these days is squeamish about hooked fish and worms.

Garten and husband T.J. are glad for their children to experience fishing virtually, and if the opportunity for a trip to the water comes along, Lynn Garten says she would be fine with that.

“If a neighbor wanted to take them fishing,” she said, “I’d be more than happy for them to go.”

Similar games present scenarios from a local bass fishing hole to offshore billfishing.

Free and paid apps are available for handheld devices, and more are available for game consoles. Games can be played on all sorts of devices, from iPod, iPhone, iPad and Android to PlayStation, X-Box 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP, Kinect and more.

Besides “Flick Fishing,” titles with realistic fishing include “Fishing Kings,” “Real Fishing 3D” and “Extreme Fishing 2.”

“Rapala Pro Bass Fishing” has free and paid versions. “Bass Pro Shops’ The Strike” game for Xbox 360 comes with a controller shaped like the reel section of a rod. “Fishing Resort” for Wii also comes with a rod controller.

Also for Wii is “Shimano Xtreme Fishing,” “Sega Bass Fishing” and “Rapala Pro Bass Fishing.”

Even Orvis offers a $9.99 fly-fishing app that fits devices including Kindle Fire, Nook and Android.

Search iTunes, the App Store, Google, Amazon and retailers to keep the family fishing through the winter.

Still shopping? If a fishing game doesn’t complete your shopping list, consider a subscription to a magazine such as Wildlife in North Carolina, published by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Subscriptions run $12 a year or $30 for three years. Subscribe at

Public comment sought: The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission is accepting comment on proposed rules changes, including the use of hook-and-line gear in the commercial striped bass fishery, electronic reporting requirements for fish dealers and replacement of the 100-shrimp limit with a two-quart limit for easier enforcement.

Another change would shift the joint/coastal boundary line between the Albemarle Sound Management Area and the Roanoke River Management Area.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Washington Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

Learn more at, call 252-808-8014 or email

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